Valerie Orion

I tend to keep my models built for a long time. Often older models start to feel outdated with time, and are eventually modified, stripped for some pieces I've ran out, or disassembled completely. But sometimes they grow on me. One of them is Zinnia Superfuzz, a bass player figure I built in 2019. She was on window display for a year or two (I have some triple-glazed windows with nice display space inside). I did make some tweaks, sure - I made the legs a bit shorter for more natural proportions - but in all Zinnia is one of my best works (by the way, she also made a special gig on my review of the new Ideas Fender Statocaster on New Elementary). She was built in slightly larger scale than usual (and required a big hair to make the usual-scale face look natural!) and that scale felt interesting for further experienting, so I built two other original characters, fiddler Doreen Inverardi and drummer Virva Staccato to accompany her on a band. And here's the fourth member, Valerie Orion, who plays a guitar. 

I aimed for similar overall feel than on Zinnia. Doreen was more "out there" - her starting point was a very heavy and brightly coloured skirt that prevented lot of mobility, and pretty much everything on her turned out somehow bizzare or hipster-like. Virva was a drummer from the beginning, which meant ability to sit and therefore trousers. So with this new guitarist I wanted to pursue elegant dress design with enough poseability and some cool boots. I was also excited by the big amount of brightly-coloured curved slopes I had recently bought, and they guided the process. I began with the dress, which originally had black and bright yellowish green; the green was dropped as the feel was too much like "poison-themed villainess" and I lacked anything else than those curved slopes and 1x2 bricks. Bright light yellow replaced it. The another main colour ended up being dark purple, a colour that has also recently grown on me. Forming the neck strap with those small Elves banners defined the attire.

The flanks use similar technique to Tam the Enchanter, but with some extra movement; the large cockpit parts are connected via 1x2 plates with clip on ends. They're somewhat fragile, but hollow enough to allow enough movement to the upper legs. This meant I was able to build full legs with realistic waist lenght - on comparison Zinnia's legs start half way up the thigh, just above the hemline! The front flap is very simple or even "crude" but the studded surface allowed me to add ornaments with round tiles; tiling the the whole flap would have looked too heavy and zigzaggy on the edges. The gaps on the skirt are conscious choice for poseability, and I though that line between the stocking and skin would be nice detail.
The previous figures of the series had all black hair so I chose to continue this motif. They also all had rubber hair - Zinnia's used Hero Factory ammo belts and others' tire pieces. I tried some tires on Valerie too, but they didn't fly. Instead I made an asymmetrical curved slopes and bow pieces type of hair - mostly to give some wildness to contrast the bound and symmetrical hairs of the others. Doreen and Zinnia had these wild hair ornaments, so Valerie got some too - a small serpent-themed hair clip, a big star with trans-purple innard (hence the name Orion - Zinnia's name derives from a flower, appearing on her dress) and a big trans-neon-green Clickits wrist band that shines brilliantly!

From the beginning I new I wanted to make a transparent "acrylic" guitar. I saw Jussi Lehtisalo playing one in Rättö & Lehtisalo few years ago (before the pandemic) and the idea came back to me - I was sure it would look great in brick form. This is not a remake of that specific instrument (I didn't find any photos) but just a random, made-up guitar; the body is somewhat close to Stratocaster, but with symmtrical headstock. Light reflects nicely in different innards of the pieces in it.
The whole band is not here yet - I have several ideas more. Maybe it'll end up being a big band? Time will tell. Until next time!

PS. The boat stud on the right hand is black on some photos and tan in some. It should be black. There was a small accident during the shoot (there usually is) and I lost the original black one. No wonder I didn't find it as I was looking for tan one instead of black! But that's not a huge problem - she just has different bracers on some shots.



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